Five ways to survive parenting when you are sick

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

As soon as the cold weather hits, so too do colds.

As a mum you spend your time juggling work and family life as well as caring for everyone in the house, but what happens when you get sick? Who cares for you?

Here are five tips for parenting when you're sick:

1. Go to a health professional

Mums are notoriously bad at going to the doctors. They spend so much time worrying about their children and booking medical appointments for everyone else, that when it comes to looking after their own health they often let themselves down.'

In fact, new research from Blackmores suggests that almost half (44 per cent) of mums say they rarely or never visit the doctor when they start feeling sick.

Don't be that person that tries to wait it out. Go directly to the doctor and sort it out straight away. And while you're there, book in for a pap smear or health check.

2. Look after you

Give yourself as much care as you would one of your kids. You are not a machine - you are a human being who needs fussing over.


Drink lots of water, take lots of Panadol and eat lots of Vitamin C. If your kids are old enough, ask them to make you lemon tea, take yourself to bed early and rest. If your kids are little, then bring them to bed with you. You won't get rest, but at least you'll be comfortable and warm!

The research also revealed the craziest things mums have done when sick – from vomiting in an interview (and getting the job) to holding classes in the bathroom wihile homeschooling with gastro.

3. Ditch the household routine

When you're sick it's hard enough getting yourself out of bed and getting everyone to school. And when you have a baby, the middle of night breastfeed sessions, when you're sick, are the worst.

Just focus on what needs to get done and ignore the rest. Bath time can wait. Cereal for dinner or takeaway is okay. If your kids miss after school activities for a week they'll be fine. Popping your toddler in front of the TV or letting your kids have unlimited screen time will give you time to rest, and they won't complain.

Of course, if you're in a relationship then you shouldn't have to worry – they'll pick up the slack, do all the household chores, handle all the school stuff and look after you too, right? 

4. Say no

Don't let guilt overcome you. If your kids or your partner or work or school ask you to do something – just say no. Make yourself the number one priority. Take some sick days, even if you don't work out of the home, declare it a sick day. Pop your favourite show on the television, lay on the couch with a blanket and hot cup of tea and wallow in your own self pity. Just do nothing. The world will keep turning if you stop and give yourself time to get better.

5. Ask for help

If you're in a relationship then step away from parenting duties and hand over full control to your partner. It's their turn to be the carer and nurturer to you.

If you don't have a partner, or your partner is also sick, away working or is simply hopeless, then reach out to a family member or friend. Or delegate extra responsibilities to your kids. You'll be surprised at how amazing people are if you simply ask.